ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR 42ND MILO MARATHON FINALS IN LAOAG
LAOAG CITY -- The National Milo Marathon finals is set to mark its 42nd year milestone here Sunday.
The city of Laoag was unanimously chosen as this year’s venue for the 11th and final leg of the race participated in by some 12,000 runners.
In a pre-launch meeting on Thursday afternoon, Milo Sports Executive Lester Castillo reported that 493 qualifiers and 10 foreign runners will compete in the finals, which will start at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena and finish at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Sports Stadium.
Since Thursday, hundreds of delegates began to arrive in the province in preparation for the grand event. “Some of our hotels, inns and home stays are now fully booked for the participants,” said Faivo Bartolome, sports consultant of the Ilocos Norte Sports Development Council.
He added that they also opened the athletes’ quarters at the Marcos Stadium for the runners.
The Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO) likewise formed the task group “Marathon 2018” to ensure public safety and security during the event.
According to Chief Insp. Randy Baoit, acting chief of INPPO’s provincial operations, a total of 227 police personnel have already been assigned to assist in the 3K, 5K, 10K, 21K, and 42K races. Other force multipliers and volunteers will also be deployed to various strategic places during the main event.
To avoid traffic congestion, the Department of Public Works and Highways has also confirmed the opening of the bypass road and the alternative bridge for the runners.
In case of accidents, Dr. Lester Punio, chief of the medical team, said 60 nurses and four doctors will be on call during the big day.
“At least seven ambulances will be prepositioned in the 17 stations to be manned by medics. Response time in case of accident shall be within 5 to 8 minutes,” said Punio. At least three hospitals -- the Laoag City General Hospital, Ranada Hospital and the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital – have been identified to help runners in case of extreme emergency.
“Cardiac mortality is prevalent in running events, but I hope we will not need those. Rest assured that our medical team is well-trained, and they know what to do,” he added.
Meanwhile, reigning Milo Marathon King Joerge Andrade and 2016 Olympian Mary Joy Tabal are already in Laoag, ready to defend their crowns from their fierce rivals in the final race of the season.
“To defend my title and yes, part of the goal is to break my Milo Marathon National Finals record. Hopefully, I will be injury-free,” Tabal said in an interview.
Organizers said they are thankful to local partners, sponsors, volunteers and the local government units of Laoag and Ilocos Norte for their support. (PNA)
Photo from Milo Philippines website